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nels, have caused a sensible elevation from being sustained by evidence suffi-
ments made in reference to the climate
í affording evaporation from the surface of enlightened population; they are ad
their leaves, and preventing the calorific vancing with astonishing rapidity; and
rays from reaching the ground. It is a
“ fact equally well known that snow lies they ought, in some degree, suddenly longer in forests than on plains, because to produce the meteorological altera- in the former locality it is less exposed to tions which many ages have scarcely the action of the sun; and hence the rendered apparent in our old continent, winters in former years may have been This country is North America. Let longer and more uniform. As the clearus see, then, how clearing the country ing away of the forest causes the waters aflects the climate there. The results to evaporate and the soil to become dry, may evidently be applied to the ancient some increase in the mean summer temcondition of our own countries, and we perature, diametrically contrary to the shall find that we may thus dispense opinion of Jetlerson and others, necessawith à priori considerations, which, in rily follows. It is remarked by Umfrea subject so complicated, would proba
hne ville that at Hudson's Bay the ground in bly have misled us."
open places thaws to the depth of four
feet, and in the woods to the depth only As much importance has been at
of two. Moreover, it has been detertached by some to those classic records
mined by thermometrical experiments that which go to prove that the climate of the temperature of the forest, at the disEurope two thousand years ago was tance of twelve inches below the surface much more rigorous than now, our au of the earth, is, compared with an adjacent thor has been at considerable pains to open field, at least 10lower during the collect historical facts bearing upon summer months; whilst no difference is this question up to the present time. observable during the season of winter. He arrives at the following conclu. It may therefore be assumed that alsion :
though cultivation of the soil may not be productive of a sensible change in the
mean annual temperature, yet such a mo« In regard to the opinion generally en- dification in the distribution of heat tertained, that the climate of Europe has among the seasons may be induced as will been very much meliorated since the days greatly influence vegetation.” of Julius Cæsar, it is then clearly apparent, from the foregoing facts, that it is far Changes of climate in the New
World are also alleged to have super. continents, and their prolongation and vened. Jefferson, Volney, Rush, and enlargement towards the poles. Williams, the historian of Vermont, “ But even Malte-Brun has ventured maintain this opinion. It has been the assertion, that · France, Germany, and further asserted, after the usual loose
England, not more than twenty centuries manner, that ou comparing the results
ago, resembled Canada and Chinese Tarof recent observations on our frontier
tary-countries situated, as well as our
Europe, at a mean distance between the with the best authenticated accounts we have of the climate of the Eastern
equator and the pole.' This illustration States in their early settlement, a close
is certainly very unhappy; for, rejecting
the pretended antiquity of the Chinesesimilitude is found. The winters, it is the fables in relation to Fohi and Hoangsaid, have grown less cold and the Ti, the former of whom, we are told, summers less warm-consequences founded the empire of China about five which are ascribed to the clearing of thousand years ago we must, with Maltethe forest and the cultivation of the Brun, date its origin at least eight or nine soil. That the climate of the great centuries before Christ. China should, lakes resembles that of the sea-coast, therefore, possess a milder climate than is very apparent; but that the region Europe, inasmuch as agriculture is repreintermediate or the one beyond, ever sented to have been always in the most maintained such a relation, is an as
flourishing condition. As the practice of sumption contrary to the laws of
fallowing is unknown, almost the whole
arable land is constantly tilled, and even nature. The following quotation expresses
the steepest mountains, cut into terraces,
are brought under cultivation. Now, as the views of our learned and able au
this country presents a climate as austere thor on this subject:
as that of Canada in the same latitudes,
the conclusion is irresistible, that in pro“ The opinion that the climate of the portion as the leading physical characters States bordering the Atlantic on their first of a region are immutable, does error settlement, resembled that now exhibited pervade the remark of Malte-Brunby Fort Snelling and Council Bluffs, (the That vanquished nature yields its empire former at the confluence of the St. Peter's to man, who thus creates a country for and the Mississippi, and the latter near himself.'" the junction of the Platte and Missouri), has been shown, it is believed, to be A partial view of this question. in. wholly gratuitous and unsustained by do facts. Although the mean annual tem
y deed, not unfrequently leads to the peratures, as has been ascertained, vary
most unwarranted conclusions. Any from one another irregularly, either a few
changes in the climate of the United degrees above or below the absolute mean
States as yet perceived, are very far temperature of the place; yet no accurate
from justifying the sanguine calculathermometrical observations made in any tions indulged in, a few years ago, by part of the world, warrant the conclusion a writer* whose observations upon that the temperature of a locality under- many other points are very valuable. goes changes in any ratio of progression; “But there will doubtless be,” he but conversely, as all facts tend to esta- says, “an amelioration in this particublish the position that climates are stable, lar, when Canada and the United we are led to believe that the changes or States shall become thickly peopled perturbations of temperature to which a and generally cultivated. In this lati. locality is subject, are produced by some tude, then, like the same parallels in regular oscillations, the periods of which
Europe at present, snow and ice will
E are to us unknown. That climates are
become rare phenomena, and the orange, susceptible of melioration by the extensive changes produced on the surface of
face of the olive, and other vegetables of the the earth by the labors of man, has been same, class, nou sirang
same class, now strangers to the soil, pointed out already; but these effects are will become objects of the labor and soextremely subordinate, compared with the licitude of the agriculturist.” modification induced by the striking fea- The fallacy of the opinion which tures of physical geography--the ocean, ascribes the mild climate of Europe to lakes, mountains, the opposite coasts of the influence of agricultural improve
Remarks on the Climate and Vegetation of the fortieth degree of North Latitude. By Richard Sexton, M. D., in Vol. V., American Journal of Medical Sciences.
1842.) Is the Region West of the Alleghany Milder than that East ? 469
ment, becomes at once apparent, when ence of not less than 550.8, which gives it is considered that the region of Ore- rise to frosts of several months' duration gon, lying west of the Rocky Moun- in that part of China; yet Pekin is under tains, which continues in a state of the same parallel as the southern extremiprimitive nature. has a climate even ty of Naples, where frost is unknown, and milder than that of highly cultivated
od of the central provinces of Spain, in Europe in similar latitudes: and again,
which, though at an elevation of two China, situated like the United States
thousand feet above the sea, ice is an exon the eastern coast of a continent,
tremely rare occurrence.” though subjected to cultivation for several thousand years, possesses a climate
In every work professing to treat of not less, and some assert even more ri- the climate of the United States, the gorous. than that of the United States opinion of Jefferson and Volney, that, on similar parallels.
in regard to the temperature of the reConnected with this subject is the gions lying east and west of the Allequestion often agitated--upon which ghanies, “there is a general and uniwe have before slightly touched--whe- form difference equivalent to 3° of lati. ther the Old Contineni is warmer than tude in favor of the basin of the Ohio the New. Volney and others have and Mississippi,” is quoted as an esattempted its solution by a comparison tablished fact. Mr. Jefferson estimated of the mean annual temperatures of the difference equivalent to 3° of latidifferent places on both sides of the tude, as similar vegetable productions Atlantic; but to this mode of deter- are found so many degrees farther mining it, the obiection at once pre- north. These phenomena M. Volney sents itself, that the points of compari- ascribed to the influence of the southson represent opposite extremes in the west winds, which carry the warm air climate of each continent. Indeed, the of the Gulf of Mexico up the valley of question in itself involves an absurdity; the Mississippi. As North America for, as the laws of nature are unvary. has two mountain chains, extending ing in their operation, and as similar from north-east to south-west, and from physical conditions obtain in corre north-west to south-east, nearly paralsponding parallels of both continents, lel to the coasts and forming almost the same meteorological phenomena equal angles with the meridian, Humwill be induced. It shows in lively boldt endeavored to explain the migracolors the truth of the remark, that tion of vegetables towards the north, every physical science bears the impress by the form and direction of this great of the place at which it received its ear- valley which opens from the north to liest cultivation. In geology, for exam- the south; whilst the Atlantic coast ple, all volcanic phenomena were long presents valleys of a transverse direcreferred to those of Italy; and in me- tion, which oppose great obstacles to teorology, the climate of Europe has
the passage of plants from one valley been assumed as the type by which to to another. The tropical current or estimate that of all corresponding lati- trade-wind, it is said, deflected by the tudes. In making a comparison of the Mexican elevations, enters the great two continents, it is, therefore, neces- basin of the Mississippi and sweeps sary that both points have the same over the extensive country lying east relative position. Pekin and Philadel- of the Rocky Mountains; and that phia, for instance, are legitimate points when this current continues for some of comparison : but this is not the case days, such extraordinary heat prevails in reference to the United States and even through the basin of the St. LawWestern Europe, or the latter com- rence, that the thermometer at Monpared with China. The climatic differ- treal sometimes rises to 989 of Fahr. ence between the former has just been In winter, on the contrary, when the pointed out: and as regards the latter, locality of this great circuit is changed the following extract from Traill's to more southern latitudes, succeeded - Physical Geography is to the by the cold winds which sweep across point:
the continent from the Rocky Moun
tains or descend from high latitudes, “At Pekin, in lat, 400 N., and long. this region becomes subject to all the 1160 20' E.. the mean temperature of sum- rigors of a Siberian winter. mer is 780 8', and of winter 230-_e differ- The fallacy of these views is ably
pointed out by Dr. Forry. “ As a or even directly south, and consequently traveller," says Volney, “I can con- equally exposed to the current from firm and enlarge upon ihe assertion of the Gulf of Mexico. Volney's theory, Mr. Jefferson ;" and in regard to the in truth, bears a contradiction upon its temperature of the regions lying east own face; for, whilst he ascribes the and west of the Alleghanies, he con- modified climate of the lakes to the curs in the opinion, “ that there is a agency of tropical winds, he admits general and uniform difference equin that the intermediate country traversed valent to three degrees of latitude in by these winds has a much more rigorfavor of the basin of the Ohio and Mis- ous climate. Now had Volney and sissippi.” This conclusion, which is Jefferson chanced to observe the vegenot deduced from instrumental obsery- tation, by way of comparison, along ations, rests, it will be observed, upon the coast of Rhode Island or Connecthe phenomena of temperature and ve- ticut, and on the same parallels in Illigetation exhibited in the region of the nois or farther westward, instead of great lakes. “Even as high up as the Lakes and Albany, the world Niagara,” he continues, “ it is still so would have been edified with an oppotemperate that the cold does not con- site theory, viz., that the Atlantic side tinue with any severity more than two of the Alleghanies is milder by three months, though this is the most ele- degrees of latitude than the tramontane vated point of the great platform--a region. Whilst at Fort Trumbull, circumstance totally inconsistent with Connecticut, the mean winter temperthe law of elevations." He proceeds ature is 390.33, at Council Bluffs, near to say that this climate does not cor- the junction of the Platte and Missouri, respond with similar parallels in New it is as low as 24o.47. Hence plants Hampshire and Vermont, “ but rather sensible to a low temperature, which with the climate of Philadelphia, three flourish in the climate of the former, degrees farther south. . . . At will perish in the latter; for, whilst Albany, no month of the year is the mean temperature of the coldest exempt from frost, and neither peaches month at Fort Trumbull is only 340.30, nor cherries will ripen." The pheno- at Council Bluffs it is as low as 220.61. mena observed by Volney are truly This is also demonstrated by the averfacts; but as the influence of physical age minimum temperature, that of the geography on climate was then little former being nine degrees above, and known, the theory in regard to the dif- that of the latter sixteen degrees ference of temperature east and west below zero; and equally so by the miof the Alleghanies was naturally sug. nimum temperature of the winter gested. Instead of deducing general months, thai of December, January, laws from universal facts, it is thus seen and February, being at Fort Trumbull, that the theory of Volney and Jefferson respectively, 20", 10°, and 16', and at was a premature deduction--the result Council Bluffs,-4°, -13", and --11° of hasty and partial generalization. On the other hand, it will be found
It is a good rule in philosophy to that the vegetables which can endure ascertain the truth of a fact before the rigorous climate of Council Bluffs attempting its explanation--a truism, will flourish more vigorously than in the observance of which would have the region of Connecticut; for at the saved M.Volney the labor of construct- former, the vernal increase is 270.47, ing his complex theory of the winds. at the latter only 110.67. Moreover It is a law that in proportion as we the latter increase is added to a winter recede from the ocean or inland seas, temperature of 390.33; whilst the forthe climate grows more excessive; mer, added to 240,47, more than and that the meteorological pheno- doubles itself. It thus appears that mena of the great lakes do not arise the error of Volney and Jefferson arose from the agency of tropical winds, is from the fact demonstrated by Dr. apparent from the single fact, that Forry, that the United States present the winters are several degrees warm- on the same parallels different systems er, and the summers at least ten de- of climate, produced by the unequal grees cooler, as regards the mean tempe- distribution of heat among the seasons rature of these seasons, than at positions -causes upon which the geographical one hundred miles distant, notwith- distribution of plants greatly depends. standing they are on the same parallel We have thus brought under notice the portion of the volume before us, which, as a distinguished foreign enpertaining to climate proper; and dorsement of the praise we have bethough we have endeavored to follow stowed on the production of our able our author through the main course of and indefatigable countryman, we conhis investigation, yet there are many clude the present article: points considered which it would have given us pleasure to have noticed more “ This is an important subject, treated particularly. Indeed we do not feel in a comprehensive, able, and scientific at liberty to make any further requisi- manner. . . . . . . Considering tion upon these pages, inasmuch as we what few data existed previous to the may have already, perhaps, infringed author's labors, it is a most complete and upon the law of copyright. As this satisfactory performance. It has further Review speaks for itself, we deem it the advantage of being treated in a scienunnecessary to do more than merely tific manner, and up to the present state advert to the severe mental toil de
of knowledge on the subject. . . . . manded of the author of this excellent
The highest praise that we can award to and impartial work, and to the circum
this great labor-for so it may be truly
designated-is, that the older country, stance ihat the facts and views he pre
with all its industrious intelligence, has sents are in a great measure original.
nothing of the kind : most of the contriThe work has been already most fa- butions in local medical topography that vorably noticed not only throughout adorn the pages of the Transactions of the United States, but in England, Ire- the Provincial Medical Association will land, France, and Germany. Witness not bear comparison; and it reflects altothe following tribute to its merits from gether the highest credit on the medical the London Literary Gazette, with literature of the United States."
THE FUNERAL OF GOETHE.*
FROM THE GERMAN OF IARRÓ I ARRING.
BY ALEXANDER H. EVERETT.
SLEEP well beneath thy lordly funeral stole,
While envying lords are crowding round thy hearse,
Thou star-bedizened, courtly King of verse!
That ever flowed from thy prolific pen;
E'er reach the German hearts of thy true countrymen.
• The Poem of which a translation is here presented, exhibits one of the various lights under which the character of Goethe has been viewed by his countrymen and the literary world. It is curious to contrast the extreme bitterness of the censure here expressed, with the tone of admiration I may almost say, adoration, with which he has been held up by Carlyle, not merely as the first poet of his day, but as the great moral and religious regenerator of modern times. There is a downright, straightforward, business-like air in these stanzas, which gives a favorable impression in regard to the author's sincerity, though the excessive acrimony of the satire may throw some doubts upon his discretion. It is not to be denied, however, that the friends of improvement and liberty in Germany have no small ground for complaint in the total indifference shown by their favorite poet to the fortunes of his country at the most trying moment of her history. VOL. XI. - N. LIII.